Lychnophora planaltina Semir ex Loeuille, Bringel & Faria, 2022

Loeuille, Benoît, Bringel Jr, João Bernardo De A., Faria Jr, Jair E. Q. & Valls, José F. M., 2022, Three new species of Lychnophorinae from the Brazilian Central Plateau (Asteraceae: Vernonieae), Phytotaxa 531 (3), pp. 249-266 : 258-263

publication ID 10.11646/phytotaxa.531.3.5


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Lychnophora planaltina Semir ex Loeuille, Bringel & Faria

sp. nov.

Lychnophora planaltina Semir ex Loeuille, Bringel & Faria , sp. nov. ( Fig. 7 View FIGURE 7 , 8 View FIGURE 8 )

Species Lychnophorae crispae foliis supra bullatis, mucronibus inconspicuis, involucris cylindricis et phyllariis leniter imbricatis deciduisque similis, sed foliis glaucis, linearibus, anguste ellipticis, raro lanceolatis (non viridulibus, ovatis ad lanceolatis), syncephalio solitario (non subcorymbo, raro solitario) et cypselis sparsim sericeis (non glabris) differt.

Type: — BRAZIL. Distrito Federal: Brasília, Estação Ecológica Jardim Botânico de Brasília, área do Cristo Redentor , 15°54’51’’S, 47°53’27’’W, elev. 1124 m, 7 September 2019, J. E. Q GoogleMaps . Faria 9630 (holotype: HEPH!, isotypes: RB!, UFP!) .

Description: —Shrub, 0.4–1.3 m tall, erect. Stems moderately branched, delicate, whitish ochraceous lanate with lenticular to linear leaf scars following leaf fall, becoming silverish to dark greyish villosulous, somewhat glaucous with age. Leaves alternate, simple, sessile; blade linear, very narrow elliptic, rarely lanceolate, 1.9–8.7 × 0.3–0.7 cm, venation brochidodromous, midrib prominent, furrowed abaxially, impressed adaxially, adaxial surface bullate, silverish green, glaucous, sparsely lanulose, abaxial surface densely whitish lanate, tomentum of unbranched, long, thin trichomes, 3- to 5-armed with long, thin-armed trichomes, coriaceous, margins entire, slightly revolute, unfrequently flat, apex obtuse with an inconspicuous mucro sometimes concealed by indumentum, base rounded or truncate. Capitula fused in a solitary, rarely two, terminal syncephalium (secondary order inflorescence). Syncephalium 1–2 cm tall, 1.3–2.5 cm diam., hemispherical, interspersed with few small leaf-like bracts; secondary bracts lanceolate, sometimes linear, leaf-like, 1.5–3.2 × 0.3–0.4 cm long. Capitula 15–ca. 60, homogamous, discoid, sessile, fused 2/3 of length; involucre 5.2–6.0 mm tall, 1.5–2.8 mm diam., cylindrical, 4–5-seriate; phyllaries weakly imbricate, light greenish, apex acute and darker, deciduous, outer phyllaries 3.2–4.2 × 0.6–1.4 mm, ovate to lanceolate, upper half densely whitish lanose, inner phyllaries 4.8–6.2 × 0.9–1.2 mm long, linear to narrow oblanceolate, apex densely whitish lanose; receptacle slightly convex, naked. Florets 3 per capitulum, bisexual, fertile; corolla actinomorphic, deeply 5-lobed, lilac, corolla tube 3.2–3.5 × 1.5–1.7 mm, glabrous, corolla lobes 3.5–3.7 × 0.8–1 mm, glandular-punctate, pilose towards apices, apex acute; anther whitish or lilac, apical anther appendages lanceolate, acute, anther base sagittate, acute; style shaft 7.8–8.9 mm long, white or pale lilac, glabrous throughout except for pubescent upper ca. 2.9 –3.1 mm beneath style arms, style arms ca. 1.5 mm long, apex acute, pubescent outside, hairs acute, style base glabrous, lacking basal node. Cypsela prismatic, 3.5–4.0 × 1.2–1.7 mm, 10-ribbed, angled, light brown, upper half frequently darker, sparsely sericeous, glandular-punctate, sometimes connate in pair; carpopodium inconspicuous; pappus setae biseriate, whitish, paleaceous, outer series setae 0.9–2.1 mm, persistent, free or slightly fused at base, apex acute, erose, inner series setae 4.0– 5.1 mm, caducous, barbellate, slightly twisted.

Distribution, habitat, and conservation status: — Lychnophora planaltina is restricted to the campos rupestres in Environmental Protection Area (Área de Proteção Ambiental) Bacias Gama e Cabeça de Veado (APAGCV) ( Fig. 3 View FIGURE 3 , 9 View FIGURE 9 ). The APAGCV links continuous protected areas that differ in management regulations and governmental institution in charge but share the conservation purpose ( UNESCO 2003). Nevertheless, these protected areas are surrounded by urban occupation, which can affect environmental quality ( UNESCO 2003, Aguiar 2015). There are two locations of occurrence of L. planaltina , with the first collection dating to more than 40 years ago (1968), made in a farm that belongs to the local public university (FAL - Fazenda Água Limpa, Universidade de Brasília); ca. 22.09 km 2 of the 42.31 km 2 of the farm are determined as environmental protection area by the Brazilian law ( Aguiar 2015) ( Fig. 9 View FIGURE 9 ). Although more than half of the area of the farm is destined to environmental conservation, we cannot verify that this population is still preserved due to the lack of a precise description of the collection location in the label of this first L. planaltina specimen.

The most recent collections are from one single location in the Jardim Botânico de Brasília (Brasília Botanic Garden) ecological station (Estação Ecológica Jardim Botânico de Brasília - EEJBB), which shares a boundary with FAL. Less than five individuals were found in this second location.Although we could not precisely calculate the EOO and AOO for L. planaltina , we believe it has an extremely reduced population, covering a very restricted area, which is surrounded by the urban occupation of Brasília. Therefore, we considered it Critically Endangered.

Etymology: —The species epithet refers to the geographic distribution, as in Portuguese planaltina means that who inhabits the Brazilian Central Plateau.

Additional specimens examined (paratypes): — BRAZIL. Distrito Federal: Brasília, Estação Ecológica Jardim Botânico de Brasília, área do Cristo Redentor , 15°54’52’’S, 47°53’28’’W, 10 August 2019, J. E. Q GoogleMaps . Faria 9548 ( HEPH, UB); Fazenda da Universidade Federal [ Fazenda Água Limpa da Universidade de Brasília ], 12 December 1968, N. L . Menezes 2 ( SP); Morro do Urubu , 15°54’51’’S, 47°53’27’’W, 1125 m elev., 20 January 2020, J. E. Q GoogleMaps . Faria & A. C. A . Soares 10169 ( UB) .

Discussion: — Lychnophora planaltina is morphologically closely related to L. crispa Mattfeld (1923: 429) by its adaxially bullate leaves with an inconspicuous mucro, and cylindrical involucre with deciduous weakly imbricate phyllaries. However, it differs from the latter by its glaucous, linear, very narrow elliptic, or rarely lanceolate leaves (vs. greenish, ovate to lanceolate), solitary syncephalium (vs. subcorymb, rarely solitary) and sparsely sericeous cypsela (vs. glabrous). The two species do not occur in sympatry: L. crispa is found in the Espinhaço mountain range in the states of Bahia (Chapada Diamantina) and northern Minas Gerais, whereas L. planaltina is restricted to the Brasília area in the Distrito Federal.An interesting feature of L. planaltina is the cypselae connated in pairs in some individuals, a phenomenon that has been observed in L. pinaster Martius (1822: 152) and Lychnocephalus jolyanus Semir ex Gomes & Loeuille (2021: 483) .

The Lychnophora planaltina specimen cited above, Menezes 2 ( SP108141 View Materials ), was included in a study of the leaf anatomy of several Asteraceae from campos rupestres ( Handro et al. 1970), but was then identified as L. reticulata Gardner (1846: 233) [= Eremanthus reticulatus (Gardner) Loeuille et al. (2019: 43) ]. This is the same specimen that João Semir described in his unpublished Ph.D. thesis ( Semir 1991), in which he placed L. planaltina in a species complex with L. crispa and L. reticulata , but a phylogenetic analysis of Lychnophorinae ( Loeuille et al. 2015) showed that L. reticulata belongs to the genus Eremanthus and not in Lychnophora .


University of the Witwatersrand


Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh


Universidad Central


Jardim Botânico de Brasília


Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro


Universidade Federal de Pernambuco


Laboratoire de Biostratigraphie


Nanjing University


Nationaal Herbarium Nederland, Leiden University branch


Instituto de Botânica


Harvard University - Arnold Arboretum


University of Copenhagen